Welcome! This blog post should give you an introduction about Helios Render CLI and how to:
- Setup the CLI / render Helio client
- Sync your projects to the cloud
- Render quick previews in the cloud
- Render the full project with the power of a supercomputer
- Download / sync the results of the rendering to your computer
This blog posts requires some basic know-how about Bash / Powershell / Terminal. We use the DCC 3ds Max and the Render Engine Corona.
Additional engines and DCCs are supported soon
Setup (download and install)
To get started sign up for free on our platform, choose the render CLI product and download the CLI over the generated download link:
Downloading the CLI generates an authenticated and secured access to your future projects. The CLI can be used on all major OS like Linux, MacOS and Windows. For this getting started we're using Ubuntu 20.04.
Extract and Run
Extract the binary file to a folder of your choice.
Set the right permissions to execute the binary with
chmod u+x ~/.heliorender/heliorender
Create a link to make it accessible globally so you don't have to enter the full path.
ln -s ~/.heliorender/heliorender /bin
To login to the platform you only need to specify your email address.
heliorender login email@example.com
During the beta there will be no password needed. The security certificates are packed with the download link into the archive. Please don't share your archive in the internet. We're working on adding a second authentication factor.
To get an overview of all commands and functions available you can enter
To get help for a specific command / functionality enter
heliorender help cmd
For example to get help for the preview command
heliorender help preview
File synchronization (mirror)
Uploading project files to a render farm is often time consuming and waiting for the upload to finish, when you just want to render, is annoying. This is why Helio improved the process by synchronizing the project files to the cloud (including textures etc).
The main benefit of this background sync function is, that your changes (in a project folder) are automatically available when you're ready to render a preview or render the final shot.
Doing this, allows you:
- get faster results by avoiding endless long uploads
- collaborate with your teammates on the project
- sync back the results automatically
The Helio sync can be installed on workstations, NAS, servers or also connects to cloud services like S3.
Add the Project
So let's get started with the synchronization and add a project which you would like to sync.
heliorender init <projectpath>
heliorender init ~/archviz/projecta/
This initialized the project folder and added a configuration file with some default settings and parameters which are later on passed to the render engine during the rendering.
Sync the project
To have the files ready for rendering in the cloud, the project folder should be synchronized with Helio. You can compare this feature to the desktop clients of solutions like Dropbox or Google drive.
heliorender mirror <projectpath> <projectname>
heliorender mirror ~/archviz/projecta/ newbuilding
If you only specify the short version the tool will use the current path and searches for a project file (e.g.
This will sync the files as long as the window is open.
You can also specify the flag
-w to watch the folder in the background.
Rendering a preview of the project allows you to get render results within 1-2 minutes and helps you:
- Find first errors in the scene file
- Get a first impression of the light and textures
- Verify that our API has all your plugins supported
- Check your animation by looking at e.g. every 10ths frame
Render a preview
To render the preview of the project and stores the result to the folder
heliorender preview <projectname> -d /tmp/
Hint: There are additional options like specific frames or the rendering of every 10th available to get a great overview for animations. The help command will guide you through this options:
heliorender help preview
Check you the results with your favorite image viewer and browse to the output folder.
Rendering a project will assign the best matching rendering nodes to the render job:
- High-resolution still images are assigned to the fastest CPU / GPUs.
- If you add a job with 1000 frames, the job is computed on 100 powerful machines in parallel.
- Animation frames are usually distributed to as many servers as possible.
Render the job
Rendering a job is done like a preview, but obviously takes a bit longer.
heliorender render-file <projectname> -d /tmp/
You can also just render a specific frame (in this case frame 42):
heliorender render-file <projectname> --frame 42 -d /tmp/
Or you are able to pick a camera with:
heliorender render-file <projectname> --cameras <camera> -d /tmp/
To get a status and overview of the renderings, the command
Reviewing the errors and outputs issued by the rendering engines and our system is possible soon.
Sounds good? Start here. Happy rendering!
Use our User Interface?
You rather prefer a simple user interface to render your projects: get in contact with us.